The Life Coaching business is fairly a new phenomenon in the personal development realm. Although people have invested in mentors, therapist, and personal trainers for a number of years, the title “Life Coach” has only been around for a short time. A Life Coach is a trained professional who first guides the client to evaluate his/her life circumstances in a variety of common areas, which often include: career; relationships; family life and parenting; health, wellness, and lifestyles; spirituality; self-esteem; stress or time management; and any other problematic areas that the client requests. All coaching sessions should be client-centered, which means that the client determines which areas of his/her life are working (to their satisfaction) and which areas he/she requires help, direction, and coaching. The client guides the sessions, but a good coach will explore all areas of the client’s life and make additional suggestions for improvement if the client is opening to receiving the coach’s input.

Once the areas of focus are established, the coach guides the client toward setting goals. Goals can be small and realistic or grand and ideal depending on the attitudes, skills, style, and theory of conceptualization for each specific coach. Holistic Life Coaching also includes aspects of energy, spirituality, conscious awareness, Quantum Physics, and Metaphysics that tie together the client’s mind, body, and spirit as a whole, synergetic system. Once the goals are set, smaller steps or objectives are decided upon between the coach and the client. Each goal can have several objectives or steps that need to be achieved in order for the goal to be met. Objectives should me small, measureable, behavioral steps. The client should be able to check off each objective as it is achieved. The coach’s job is to provide the necessary interventions and activities to guide the client toward completing each objective, while providing motivation, inspiration, and guidance at the same time. As the client works through the interventions and activities, the coach should be available to help the client address any obstacles that arise along the way. As the client progresses, the coach provides praise and support for each success. A good coach also teaches the client to become his/her own coach for any future needs. Good Life Coaching involves teaching the client the basics of personal growth and problem-solving so that the client not only improves his/her life circumstances, but also learns how to continue to do this on his/her own. Although, some clients may seek additional coaching “brush up” sessions in the future, clients should come away from each coaching experience with a distinct skill set for facilitating his/her own future personal growth. Clients should have the privilege of being responsible and accountable for their own growth or failures. A Life Coach does not change the client. A good Life Coach teaches and guides the client how to change him/herself toward the direction he/she desires to grow. A good coach demands accountability.

At the end of the coaching period, the coach guides the client to evaluate his/her growth so far and where the client would like to go from here. The coach helps the client to develop goals for the next steps (after coaching ends). A good coach provides feedback – both positive feedback about the client’s success as well as observations and suggestions (without judgment) for how the client might improve his/her efforts toward personal development. A good coach does not hold back relevant information that is observed during the coaching experience. A good coach knows how to deliver this information in a positive way that helps the client without alienating or damaging him/her in any way. A good coach is a “trusted professional.”

Life Coaching can be the ultimate experience in self growth and personal development under the right circumstances. There is a set of specific criterion that must be met in order for life coaching to work at its best.

Client Criterion:
*Clients should explore a variety of coaching professionals before choosing one.
*Clients should be prepared to INVEST in themselves. The fee for coaching professionals vary greatly – higher priced coaches do not necessarily mean that the coach is the best!
*Clients should have some level of self-awareness and sense of themselves. Clients should be able to make a full list of adjectives describing their own character with both strengths and weaknesses in order to receive the full potential of the coaching experience.
*Clients should engage in coaching to work on and change themselves for the better; not to learn how to manipulate or change others.
*Clients need to be accountable for their own choices. Those who blame others for their circumstances are probably not ready for life coaching. Clinical psychotherapy may be more appropriate for “blamers.”
*Clients must be ready and willing to face their own debilitating characteristics while expanding their strengths at the same time. Self-reflection is extremely important in Life Coaching. Clients must be ready to change, trust their coach, and try new ways of thinking and behaving to explore new outcomes and consequences.

Life Coach Criterion:
*Life Coaches should be well-trained professionals with real credentials from a real therapeutic coaching organization. Many life coaches engage in a 150 hour training course online or in person to receive their credentialing. Since the US government does not mandate Life Coaching certification standards, many “fly by night” companies offer Life Coach training. Make sure your life coach has real credentials. Clients should not be afraid to interview Life Coaches prior to hiring them. Clients need to ask potential coaches which conceptual orientations and theories they practice to facilitate change. Coaches should have some idea of theories of change such as Solution Focused, Strength-Based, Cognitive-Behavioral, Client-Centered, Holistic Approach, Existentialism, etc. Life Coaches who offer a free trial coaching session are the best. Clients can get the opportunity to experience the coach to determine if styles and theories are well matched and mesh with the client’s needs.
*Life Coaches should belong to some Professional Organizations that set standards of practice.
*Life Coaches should be well-organized and appear to have a high level of professionalism. Websites, advertisements, and brochures should be articulate, pleasing to the eye, offer some additional free information as proof of their intention to serve, and have well-developed mission and purpose statements. After all, the Life Coach is supposed to be a goal-oriented professional who deals with optimizing all aspects of life.
*Life Coaches should states some experience in successful service to others.
*Life Coaches should have a well-organized set of initial assessments or Welcome Package that asks a variety of questions about the client’s current state of functioning in all relevant areas of life.
*Life Coaches should have a standard set of ethics that he/she incorporates, such as Duty to Warn and Refund Policies.
*Life Coaches should be client-focused, not self-centered or egotistical. Coaching sessions should always be about the client’s needs, not the coaches. Good Coaches only use self-disclosure as a learning mechanism. Coaches should not be self-disclosing anything to the client unless the information directly serves the client’s course of coaching.
*Life Coaches do not become romantically involved with clients.

This is some basic information about Life Coaching. If you think you are ready, it’s best to begin by affirming to yourself that “the opportunity for the right coach is coming my way.” Then, begin your search. Don’t be afraid to explore and interview a variety of coaches before you settle on one. Namaste’

Lotus Holistic Life offers four unique packages for Holistic Life Coaching. Lotus also offers a wide variety of excellent Self-Help eWorkbooks. Please feel free to explore the Lotus website at www.LotusHolisticLife.com as well as interview our professionals – Cherie or Debbie. Lotus also offers an Absolutely Free Trial Coaching Session.

Author's Bio: 

Cherie is one of the professionals at Lotus Holistic Life. She has a doctorate in Holistic Ministries. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Holistic Life Coach. Lotus Holistic Life offers 4 different Life Coaching packages, excellent Self-Help Workbooks, and a wide variety of Holistic Products to help YOU live the life you DESERVE! Visit Cherie at www.LotusHolisticLife.com